10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Maui Wedding Caterer

10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Maui Wedding Caterer

An ocean front Maui beach wedding reception table setup in Lahaina.With most destination weddings planned remotely and often without the traditional tasting, the usual steps for selecting a wedding caterer may not be an option. Since wedding reception food service is one of the highlights wedding guests remember most, a little more diligence is necessary to plan a wedding on Maui.

Fortunately, modern technology makes it easy and affordable to communicate with Maui catering companies and their chefs. You may use the phone, email and by teleconferencing on Skype or Google Hangouts to interview prospective caterers and discuss your wedding plans. To ensure you receive the best catering for Maui weddings, we recommend asking the chef or catering manager a few questions:

  1. How long have you been catering weddings on Maui? Though the Internet makes it easy to find and review wedding caterers, it’s also easy for less reputable caterers to offer services with little front end overhead and investment. Hint: We’ve been catering weddings on Maui since 2002 and creating delicious events around the world for more than 20 years.
  2. How many weddings or events a year do you cater? If your caterer is too busy will you get the attention you need or will a backup chef be serving at your event while the primary chef attends to a larger event? If your caterer isn’t very busy, why not? Depending on the size of the business and if a restaurant or a catering only operation, some will be able to handle more than others.
  3. Do you have a current Maui county business license and when does it expire? bbq chicken skewers by maui catering 20131105 162221Ask for the license and verify the license is current and up to date without infractions or liens.
  4. Do you utilize a licensed kitchen for food preparation and/or cooking? Even if your wedding reception dinner will be cooked or grilled onsite, verify food preparation is being performed in a a licensed catering kitchen. If you think a home kitchen cook is trying to make a couple extra dollars catering small events or private dinners on Maui, ask for the license number and do more homework to verify the caterer. Unfortunately, it is becoming more common to see non licensed home cooks offering private beach dinners on Maui or charging hefty commissions for acting as little more than a sub-contractor for chef services.
  5. Find out if you will be charged driving, delivery or other transportation charges for your wedding location? Depending on the wedding location and the distance from the catering kitchen, there may be charges for driving time or delivery if equipment rentals are being provided.
  6. Will the chef attend the event and personally be involved in the service? You and your guests will enjoy personally interacting with a professional chef preparing your menu.
  7. Are additional fees charged for cleanup and what is included with cleanup? You need to ensure the catering company will clean up after the reception service to properly eliminate and sometimes remove collected rubbish. If your party is large, private estate rentals may not be able to accommodate and you’ll need to make arrangements for waste removal when the catering company does not remove rubbish as part of the cleanup.
  8. Do you provide insurance in the event a guest is hurt or gets sick? Pop up catering companies may sound like they’ll save you money and could be a fun option for affordable catering on Maui. But if a guest falls over a misplaced electrical extension or gets burnt on an exposed barbecue, does the catering company hold appropriate liability insurance?
  9. Maui bartending services in Lahaina.Ask your caterer if they offer beverage or bar service for wedding receptions. For example, though we don’t hold a license to sell alcohol, we’ll share advice about where to buy alcohol and then supply a Maui county licensed bartender to serve your guests along with ice, coolers and bar setup provisions.
  10. If any guests attending your wedding on Maui have dietary needs or are food sensitive, ask if the caterer can accommodate gluten free, nut allergies, vegetarian or other special diets. With my daughters being vegetarian, I have gained extensive personal experience preparing tastey vegetarian menus while we also offer gluten free and vegetarian menu options at my Maui restaurant, CJ’s Deli & Diner in Kaanapali.

And of course, get answers to any questions you have! Use the experience getting questions answered to gauge not only that the catering company ability to provide the wedding catering services you need but that the chef and catering team communicate according to your expectations. If you have other questions to help decide on a caterer for a Maui wedding, please use the comments section below to share your own tips.

Request a no obligation quote and get answers to your Maui wedding catering questions NOW:


Maui Catering Makes A Maui Wedding Day Dream Come True

What better way to make dreams of a Maui wedding day reality than a beautiful beachfront wedding on Maui!

We'll help you every step of the way, from finding a Maui wedding venue or event location and matching event and wedding service providers to preparing and serving our catered dishes at your Maui event or Maui wedding reception.

For Full Service Maui Catering with FREE event Planning, RESERVE YOUR MAUI CATERED EVENT NOW!

Or call (808)419-0889 for personal wedding planning advice from Maui Chef Christian Jorgensen.

CJ’s Kaanapali Diner Review

My daughter and I visited Maui a couple of weeks ago and came to your restaurant 3 times. I just wanted to thank you for your willingness to meet our gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free requirements. We loved being able to eat out safely and wish we had a CJ’s at home! I just wrote you a stellar review on Trip Advisor. Hope you have a wonderful rest of the summer!

Kelley MacCabe
CJ’s Maui Restaurant Review

Wonderful for a Sunday Brunch since you can order breakfast until 11:00am! Had a ‘custom’ 3 ingredient omelette (I chose mushrooms, feta and spinach) with nicely crunchy on the outside and soft inside home potatoes, yummy. Hubby had the pancakes with fresh fruit! These are light fluffy slightly sweet batter pancakes, not those heavy bland ones (OK I admit it, I had to have a few bites of his breakfast…) Service was fast and friendly :0). The menu is EXTENSIVE, we live here and love it!

Kathy, Lahaina, Maui
CJ’s Deli and Diner Maui Restaurant Review

Fact: CJ’s Maui onion soup will melt your face off it’s so good. Best I’ve ever had. It gets 20 stars.
Alas, it’s not on the menu every day… But when my fiancee and I went this past summer and were lucky to meet Chef CJ in person and mentioned that we had been thinking about the onion soup since the last time we visited two years earlier, he was kind enough to put it on the next day’s menu. We went back the following day and ordered it, and it was amazing, just as we had remembered. Another fact: the onion soup at CJ’s is better than the onion soup at Mama’s Fish House (and at like 1/4th of the price). Really. It’s that good. Part of me wants to reverse engineer CJ’s onion soup recipe, quit my job, and make millions selling onion soup to the mainland masses! (or: CJ, wanna make a deal?)
I think that the loco moco gravy is made from the same goodness. So that’s great too. The potato salad is tasty as well.
The to-go lunch plate is respectable.

Jonny S, San Diego, CA
Maui Chef CJ Prepares Mushroom Soup for Kaanapali Restaurant Guest

On a previous visit to Maui, I had the most delicious mushroom soup at CJ’s Deli and Diner in Kaanapali. When I arrived in Maui this week, I emailed the restaurant and asked what day they might have the soup. The owner and chef, Christian Jorgensen (CJ), promptly replied even though he was on vacation in Vegas. He gave me a number to call to check on the soup of the day. Then when he returned to Maui on Friday, he emailed me to let me know he would have the soup for me on Saturday. When I got there, he was so friendly and the soup was even more scrumptious than I had remembered. I really appreciated how valued he made me feel as a customer.

Linda D.
CJs Maui Restaurant Customer

Good Morning, My wife and I spent last week in Maui. Your early bird special was the best. After we found you, we ate breakfast there every morning. You had two regular coffees that we just loved.

James T Wilson Jr
Maui Restaurant Customer

The best burger I ever had! Great Service! Fantastic Food!! Simply Awesome.

Pat Janostin, Champlin MN
Kaanapali Restaurant Customer Comment

Thanks for all the Good Food. Best we have ad since we hit the island 5 days ago!

Jeff and Myra V., Ontario, Ohio

CJ’s Maui Restaurant Customer Comments on CJ’s Private Luau in her Blog

Aloha, Just wanted to let you know that this post was up last Friday and it will be included (linked) with all of our Hawaii properties. Thank you both for excellent service. You made our trip to Maui very memorable! Feel free to comment on the post. It’s always good to have additional information and your input.


Nancy Solomon, Travel Writer
CJ’s Maui Restaurant Customer Comment

Aloha, We were in to see you many times during our stay last month in Ka’anapali, couple of things for you:
Need to order some more of your CJ’s roasted Kona Coffee. I see it’s not yet on your website, only the Maui Coffee Co. stuff. We ran out last weekend and are having withdrawls, please help!! Need 2 bags urgently!!
Secondly, your claim about having the best corned beef hash on the island. I think you’ve understated this because it’s the best I’ve had any where in the world! And that covers a lot of ground as I’ve been to every continent multiple times. Just the best anywhere, period!! Don’t suppose you would have that for delivery to Indiana would you? Maybe by the pound(s)?
Great people and even better food, Mahalo CJ’s. Seriously though, please let me know about that coffee. How do we get some ordered and shipped to Indiana?

Bill Clark, Valparaiso, In.
CJ’s Maui Restaurant Customer Comment

​CJ’s Deli & Diner Rocks! Been here several times while visiting Maui – each time we tried different meals and each time we LOVED the food, service and atmosphere. Only suggestion would be to provide regular dinner napkins along with this paper type – because we’re messy!

Aloha and Mahalo from Detroit